Laity Convocation began with a dinner served by Christ UMC, followed by a conversation between Lay Leader Deanna Shimko and Bishop Jung about Imagine Wisconsin Anew. During the conversation, Bishop Jung and Deanna spoke about what it means to Imagine Wisconsin Anew, and about Bishop Jung's recent travels and pilgrimages. Bishop Jung explained that it's not necessary to take a trip to a different country to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage; there are many opportunities available closer to home, including the 5-Day Academy for Spiritual for Spiritual Formation being held in Racine this October.

On Monday morning, the day began with opening worship led by South East district Lay Leader Steve Mayeshiba, and a Bible study led by Bishop Jung. He talked about Paul in I Thessalonians 5:1-28, and explained that we are all called and equipped by God. "You are the light," he said. "That means you have a power and a calling do do something holy. When you wake up with that reality, you are passionate and energized. That's why Paul invites you and me to understand clearly who we are. When you know who you are and whose you are, you know you are not in darkness, in manipulation, or in fear."

Before and after lunch, participants attended a variety of break out sessions. Topics included Vitalizing a Local Church for Work in its Mission Field by GBCS Organizing Program Coordinator Rebecca Cole, a General Conference update led by several Wisconsin delegates, an overview of our sister relationship with Dongbu Conference led by North Central District Superintendent Forrest Wells, Connectional Giving 101 led by Director of Finance and Administration Tamara Wims, and Vital New Faith Communities​ led by pastors Gary Cole of Sugar River UMC and Juan Garay of Urban Poeima.

During her workshop, Rebecca talked about the mission statement of The United Methodist Church - to "make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world" - and said many churches and church leaders excel at making disciples, but tend to neglect the "transformation of the world" portion. She explained that the transformation of the world begins with making new relationships, and one of the most powerful ways to do that is through one-on-ones. She explained that this is a networking tool that clergy learn in seminary, and had participants try one-on-ones with each other to practice.

In the new church starts workshop, Gary and Juan explained what makes their churches vibrant and different from many other long-standing churches in Wisconsin. Gary said that Sugar River UMC's mission statement of "Connect, Grow, Serve" is the "basis of everything we do." They have an emphasis on Sunday School, and a "2020 Vision" goal to reach 10,000 new people by 2020. He says they have already reached more than 8,000. "We have to rethink what the church needs," he said. "My responsibility is that I have to connect with the community more so I can show the congregation how to connect with the community."

Juan said that his church was founded with the purpose of finding a different way to "do" church. "There's a need for raw ministry that does not look like a conventional type of church… we are about meeting in unconventional spaces to reach a type of person that wouldn't walk into a church," he said. "Audacity is our spirit. Service is what our church is known for. Relevance is our approach." Juan said during his tenure, he has witnessed members overcome drug addictions, families reconcile with one another, and has baptized 56 new people to The United Methodist Church.

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